The chaos surrounding Antony is the latest fire that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag finds himself having to fight.

The winger is set for a leave of absence after being accused of domestic abuse, claims that the 23-year-old strongly rejects.

Just how long he will be missing for is unclear, yet there is little doubt that this fresh soap opera surrounding a Man Utd player’s behaviour will open the first-team door for a fringe star.

When United started the season, they looked well-stocked in wide areas, yet suddenly Ten Hag appears short of options.

Antony and Mason Greenwood have had well-documented off-field issues while Jadon Sancho was openly criticised by the manager prior to the international break and, after firing back angrily on social media, finds his future at the club in the balance.

While Ten Hag may persist with Sancho to some degree for the foreseeable future due to his shortage of wingers, the real benefactor from this chaotic month is youngster Facundo Pellistri.

Long hailed by Man Utd fans as the next wonderkid, the 21-year-old has had two loan spells at Alaves since he arrived from Penarol in 2020.

Pellistri has had few opportunities to shine since arriving for around €10 million, with Ten Hag slow to trust the Uruguay international.

This is the perfect spotlight for the winger to win the Dutchman over, with a genuine prospect of an extended run in the team should he shine.

Facundo Pellistri’s Man Utd chance
Pellistri, after all, has featured on the right for Uruguay, for whom he plays more regularly than he does with Man Utd.

According to data analytics experts SciSports, meanwhile, he is next in line for the wing role that Antony is vacating.

Quite simply, this has to be Pellistri’s time. SciSports believe he is currently ahead of peers Amad Diallo, who is injured at any rate, and Alejandro Garnacho, but his rivals both have more potential than him.

SciSports rate Man Utd’s wingers

Interestingly, according to SciSports’ estimates, none of the trio are expected to become as strong as Antony.

Meanwhile, there’s growing hype over 16-year-old Shae Lacey, who laid on two assists for England U17

This is an opportunity for Pellistri to confound both Ten Hag and the statistics to show that he is worthy of the hype. It’s his first genuine chance for Man Utd – and it may also be his last.

By Lylla

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